Here at Oxus International, we love compelling visual representations of data. These days, people are bombarded on a daily basis with volumes of information, and something must be done to make data stand out. Constructing a graph to more easily display data is a great way to summarize a pleathora of information into one easy-to-digest picture, but we want to take that one step further.
When news about the most recent blow to mining investment in Kyrgyzstan broke, it was hard to be surprised. A group of protesters shouting nationalist slogans broke into a TV studio preparing for a televised auction of several mining licenses and stopped the proceedings before they could start. Not only are such methods common as tools for political persuasion in Kyrgyzstan, but there are few topics more controversial or better-suited for a nationalist agenda than mining.
Mining has become among the most heated political topics in Kyrgyzstan since the 2010 revolution. A lot of post-revolution commentary about the situation has been irresponsible and poorly-informed (see this gem for a shining example of irresponsible research on the issue). However, as is often the case, reality is much more nuanced than many of these discussions would have you believe.
In July 2012, the Oxus International office (Farrell Styers [director], Kirstin Styers [deputy director], Meerim Maturaimova [researcher], Dr. Kanykey Jailobaeva [project's lead researcher], and Aanchal Anada [summer intern]) took a trip to Kyzyl-Suu, a town located on the southern shore of Issyk Kul, to conduct a validation workshop with residents of Ak-Shirak Ayil Okmotu (AO) regarding research findings for the social assessment of the Togolok gold deposit. As the actual villages that make up the Ak-Shirak AO (Uch-Koshkon, Ak-Shirak, and Kara-Sai) have no means of communications (neither telephone, mobile nor internet services), administrative center of the AO is located in Kyzyl-Suu.
Here at Oxus International we receive a fair number of questions about the news media in Kyrgyzstan. Media across the globe serves important functions for society, business and government and Kyrgyzstan is no exception. Journalists, independent researchers and corporate clients are curious about our view of how the media works here, why it came to be that way and what the future might hold.
Timothy Kenny, a journalist and associate professor at UCONN, recently interviewed our Director, Farrell Styers, for a piece on Eurasianet. Kenny and Styers met at a roundtable discussion at AUCA examining the future of news journalism in Kyrgyzstan. If you haven’t read the article yet, check it out because it is an interesting read for anyone curious about the news media in Kyrgyzstan. Also make sure to put Eurasianet on your list of daily reading because it is probably the best English-language reporting coming out of Central Asia.
On Saturday, October 9, the American University of Central Asia Anthropology department and Social Research Center hosted an Applied Anthropology Forum to discuss development efforts in Central Asia. The title of the Forum was “Two Decades of Experience: Have We Found a Proper Translation for the Word Development?”. Oxus International attended the all-day conference and listened to a diverse group of panelists describe various development efforts, focusing on education, in Kyrgyzstan and other neighboring countries.